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11:05 AM ET, February 24, 2017


 Top Items: 
FBI refused White House request to knock down recent Trump-Russia stories  —  Washington (CNN)The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign …
NBC News:
Republicans in Congress Are Still Looking for Direction from Trump  —  First Read is a morning briefing from Meet the Press and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter  —  President Trump to address CPAC after rare Steve Bannon appearance 3:09
White House effort to justify travel ban causes growing concern for some intelligence officials
Discussion: emptywheel and Political Wire
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
Bannon vows a daily fight for ‘deconstruction of the administrative state’  —  The reclusive mastermind behind President Trump's nationalist ideology and combative tactics made his public debut Thursday, delivering a fiery rebuke of the media and declaring that the new administration …
Veronica Stracqualursi / ABC News:
The Note: Priebus asks the FBI to refute Trump Russia reports
Discussion: Political Wire
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:   Stephen Bannon Reassures Conservatives Uneasy About Trump
Jon Ward / Yahoo:
Trumpism versus conservatism at CPAC
GOP Obamacare Plan Would Cover Fewer People; Blowback Grows  —  Plan expands access for those who want it, Republicans say  —  ‘Not everybody is going to have health care’: GOP lawmaker  —  Republican lawmakers expect that their Obamacare replacement will result in fewer Americans covered …
Discussion: ThinkProgress, Axios and Mother Jones
Numbers / Pew Research Center:
Support for 2010 health care law reaches new high  —  With congressional Republicans discussing proposals to replace the Affordable Care Act, public support for the 2010 health care law has reached its highest level on record.  —  Currently, 54% approve of the health care law passed seven years ago …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Death and Tax Cuts  —  Across the country, Republicans have been facing crowds demanding to know how they will protect the 20 million Americans who gained health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act, and will lose it if the act is repealed.  And after all that inveighing against the evils …
Discussion: CNN, Raw Story, AOL, Vox, Shakesville and Mediaite
Josh Rogin / Washington Post:
State Department writes anti-leak memo, which promptly leaks  —  The State Department legal office prepared a four-page memo for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warning of the dangers of leaking by State Department employees.  It promptly leaked, to me.  That's only the latest sign …
Ian Cummings / Kansas City Star:
'It wasn't right,' says Olathe man wounded at Austins while trying to stop shooter  —  Ian Grillot, hiding behind a table, counted the gunshots.  When he thought the gunman was out of bullets, he jumped up to pursue the man.  —  But the man who opened fire inside Austins Bar & Grill …
Samantha Schmidt / Washington Post:
He yelled ‘Get out of my country,’ witnesses say, and then shot 2 men from India, killing one
New Yorker:
Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War  —  What lay behind Russia's interference in the 2016 election—and what lies ahead?  —  1. SOFT TARGETS  —  On April 12, 1982, Yuri Andropov, the chairman of the K.G.B., ordered foreign-intelligence operatives to carry out “active measures” …
Discussion: Political Wire
Françoise Mouly / New Yorker:
Cover Story: Barry Blitt's “Eustace Vladimirovich Tilley”
Discussion: Business Insider and Axios
New York Times:
Weakened Democrats Bow to Voters, Opting for Total War on Trump  —  WASHINGTON — Reduced to their weakest state in a generation, Democratic Party leaders will gather in two cities this weekend to plot strategy and select a new national chairman with the daunting task of rebuilding the party's depleted organization.
Gabriel Debenedetti / Politico:   2020 race lures sprawling Democratic field
Tom LoBianco / CNN:
GOP congressman: Trump should release tax returns  —  Congress could force release of Trump's taxes  — As a candidate, Trump was the first major-party nominee in decades not to release his tax returns  —  Pace, Florida (CNN)A conservative member of Congress called on President Donald …
Soumya Karlamangla / Los Angeles Times:
Why therapists are having such a hard time talking about Trump  —  Therapists such as Dr. Arlene Drake, who practices in West L.A., say that many of their patients are talking about President Trump, presenting a challenge for a group of professionals who have been trained not to expose their own political beliefs.
Discussion: The Week
Sarah K. Burris / Raw Story:
Marsha Blackburn claims out of state people infiltrated her town hall — records seem to show she's lying  —  DON'T MISS STORIES.  FOLLOW RAW STORY!  —  In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said that her recent town hall was overwhelmed by angry people that were not from her district.
Discussion: Dow Jones Newswires and The Week
Kate Taylor / Yahoo! Finance:
Starbucks' brand perception has plummeted since it announced plan to hire refugees  —  Starbucks' brand has taken a beating since the company announced plans to hire 10,000 refugees worldwide in the next five years in response to Donald Trump's executive order intended to prevent refugees from entering the US.
Los Angeles Times:
Santa Cruz and federal agents in war of words over whether a gang sweep was really a secret immigration raid  —  Santa Cruz's police chief angrily accused the Department of Homeland Security of conducting a secret immigration sweep.  —  A Northern California raid ostensibly targeting violent …
Matthew Continetti / Washington Free Beacon:
The New Nationalism in America  —  Decades of intellectual and political activity preceded the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.  William F. Buckley Jr. founded National Review in 1955.  A little less than a decade later, National Review publisher William Rusher helped orchestrate Barry Goldwater's presidential nomination.
Discussion: The Week
Lili Bayer / The Forward:
Exclusive: Senior Trump Aide Forged Key Ties To Anti-Semitic Groups In Hungary  —  When photographs recently emerged showing Sebastian Gorka, President Donald Trump's high-profile deputy assistant, wearing a medal associated with the Nazi collaborationist regime that ruled Hungary during World War II …
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Raw Story
Francis Wilkinson / Bloomberg:
Yes, Mass Deportations Are Coming.  And We Know Why.  —  There are two main questions about President Donald Trump's recently issued immigration policies.  First, is the administration embarking on a campaign of mass deportations of undocumented immigrants?  Second, if so, why?
Wall Street Journal:
Kushner, Ivanka Trump Pushed to Remove Words Critical of Climate Deal From Executive Order  —  Trump plans to issue orders aimed at rolling back Obama climate agenda soon; language critical of Paris accord removed  —  WASHINGTON—At the request of President Donald Trump's son-in-law …
Discussion: The Week, The Daily Caller and Axios
Kyle Stock / Bloomberg:
Why La La Land Worked Better Than Anyone Dreamed  —  How value investing, mixed with a contrarian streak, helped Lions Gate beat the blockbuster model.  —  by  —  Brassy love ballads, Technicolor dialogue, and a smattering of soft-shoe-La La Land had all the makings of a blockbuster, in the 1940s at least.
47% of the Country Say Trump Has Violated the Constitution, but Few Support Impeachment  —  PRESIDENT TRUMP'S FAVORABILITY, COMPARED TO OBAMA AND BUSH  —  President Trump's Favorability, Compared to Obama and Bush  —  Americans continue to hold more negative than positive views of President Donald Trump.
Discussion: Washington Post
Tyler Durden / Zero Hedge:
French Voters Call On Obama To Run For President To “Give French People Hope”  —  As French voters look set to make a massive swing to the right in their upcoming presidential election (see our notes on the topic here and here), a group of frightened liberal protesters have decided …
Eliza Collins / USA Today:
Where in the world is Sarah Palin?  Her political star is fading  —  NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — As the Conservative Political Action Conference kicked off just outside of Washington this week, there was one name noticeably missing from the roster of speakers: Sarah Palin.
Ryan Cooper / The Week:
Ivanka Trump wants to help the wealthy pay their au pairs  —  One of the biggest lingering questions about the Donald Trump presidency is the degree to which his campaign shtick of being a working-class populist was an open fraud.  So far, all signs point towards “completely.”
Rumana Ahmed / The Atlantic:
I Was a Muslim in Trump's White House  —  In 2011, I was hired, straight out of college, to work at the White House and eventually the National Security Council.  My job there was to promote and protect the best of what my country stands for.  I am a hijab-wearing Muslim woman …
Dalibor Rohac / Washington Post:
My country had its own Trump.  Here's how we beat him.  —  Dalibor Rohac is a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.  —  To any fair-minded observer, President Trump's authoritarian instincts, Twitter outbursts and divisive rhetoric should be greatly concerning.
Tim Dickinson / Rolling Stone:
Border Patrol Agents Stop Domestic Travelers at New York Airport  —  A search for a deportation target leads to a demand for travelers' “papers” at JFK  —  Passengers of a domestic Delta flight from San Francisco to New York were told to show their identity documents to uniformed agents …
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 More Items: 
Page Six:
‘Today’ staffer leaked infamous Trump tape that ruined Billy Bush: sources
Discussion: RedState
Exclusive: Trump says Republican border tax could boost U.S. jobs
Discussion: The Atlantic, Vox and The Week
The White House:
Press Briefing by Press Secretary Sean Spicer, 2/23/2017, #15
Discussion: Politicus USA, Hit & Run and Advocate
Reed Tucker / New York Post:
Nobody cares about any recent Best Picture Oscar winners
Nahal Toosi / Politico:
Trump's words send Cabinet on perpetual clean-up mission
Discussion: TheBlaze and Common Dreams
Wall Street Journal:
Kim Jong Nam Killed With U.N.-Banned VX Nerve Agent, Malaysia Says
Ryan Devereaux / The Intercept:
Donald Trump Plans to Bypass the Courts to Deport as Many People as Possible
Discussion: Vox Popoli
 Earlier Items: 
Katherine Rodriguez / Breitbart:
The Social Security Administration paid $1 billion in benefits to those who did not have a …
Numbers / Pew Research Center:
Latinos and the New Trump Administration
Discussion: Politico
Josh Eidelson / Bloomberg:
AFL-CIO Dismissing Staff Amid Declines in U.S. Union Membership
Discussion: Hot Air
An underground network is readying homes to hide immigrants
Discussion: TheBlaze